Southeast Asia Imperialism

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SOUTHEAST ASIA IMPERIALISM The many independent countries that people see here today are not actually age-old countries that have stood autonomous since the beginning of time. The superpower countries, the wealthiest at those times, controlled those countries as means of improving their own economy. Few were lucky not to be colonized by any of them. An example of such imperialism happened in Southeast Asia, with countries from Myanmar to Indonesia having struggled to cope with colonization rule and later fight for independence. Background Europe’s interest in Southeast Asia began as early as the 16th century, when the Portuguese, led by Ferdinand Magellan, first discovered the Philippines in 1521. (Zaide, 2006) Slowly, interest in that country…show more content…
One of those companies, the British East India Company, took interest in Malaysia and founded a settlement in one of its islands. Through rapid industrialization by the Industrial Revolution, by the end of the 19th century, Southeast Asia saw a surge in European colonization, after the United States gained interest in colonizing the Philippines. Almost all of the Southeast Asian countries were colonized, save for Thailand. The British Colonization of Myanmar (Burma) Before the invasion of the British, Burma maintained wealthy through trade routes with China and India, although agriculture controlled the majority of its economy. However, after the First Anglo-Burmese War, the British commenced the colonization of Lower Burma, leading the economy into turmoil. British Arrival into Burma The Burmese’s first encounter with the British first emerged when the ruling Konbaung Dynasty was about to invade the Arakan area, now the Rakhine state, which crossed the borders of British India. Knowing that war was unavoidable, both sides sent in their troops to meet each other, resulting in the First Anglo-Burmese War on 5 March 1824. While the Burmese knew that succeeding in this war could mean expansion of more lands, from Assam to eastern Bengal (Myint-U, 2001), the British envisaged their victory as an approach to expand their sphere of influence as well…show more content…
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